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Takal Molson drives through the paint against UVa.

After nearly a month-long pause due to COVID-19, JMU men’s basketball returned to action Sunday against Hofstra. The Pride used a late run to win the game 87-80, moving to 9-6 (1-1 CAA), while the Dukes drop to 9-3 (0-1 CAA).

JMU started fast, scoring the first seven points of the game and forcing Hofstra to call a timeout 1:08 into the game. In response, the Pride went on a 14-3 run to take the lead. The game was close for the rest of the half, with neither side gaining any serious advantage.

In the first 20 minutes, redshirt junior guard Vado Morse and redshirt freshman guard Terell Strickland scored 17 and 10 points for the Dukes, respectively. Junior guard Aaron Estrada and Darlinstone Dubar each scored 10 points for Hofstra in the first half. The game went into the break with JMU up 44-43.

The game stayed close throughout the second half. For the first 19 minutes, neither side led by more than four points; there were 23 lead changes in the game. After the under-four media timeout, graduate guard Takal Molson made a free throw to give JMU an 80-79 lead. 

The final minutes were all Hofstra. Senior guard Omar Silverio made two free throws to give the Pride the lead, and they prevented the Dukes from scoring again. Hofstra made four free throws in the final 40 seconds to put the game out of reach and hand JMU its first home loss of the season.

Morse finished with a season-high 24 points, and Molson chipped in 16. Estrada scored 24 points to lead the Pride. Hofstra redshirt senior forward Abayomi Iyiola led all players with 15 rebounds. 

JMU returns to action Tuesday at home versus Northeastern at 7 p.m. Hofstra goes on the road to play Towson on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Contact the sports desk at breezesports@gmail.com. For more men’s basketball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.